Ordinance group OKs Boffo theater design plans, George's terrace expansion
Published - 07/22/14 - 12:34 PM | 6299 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
La Jolla Planned District Ordinance (PDO) Committee gave two big thumbs up to Boffo Cinemas’ preliminary design plans for its remodel/addition of the former Jonathan’s Market site at the committee's monthly meeting July 14.

The committee, which makes recommendations and rules governing commercial development to the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), also conditionally approved an expansion of George's Ocean View Terrace. But planners expressed concern about the restaurant’s substantial number of nonconforming uses.

Earlier this year, Boffo Cinemas signed a 20-year lease with Jonathan’s Market to transform the retail space at 7611 Fay Ave. from a high-end produce market into a premium multiplex theater.

“It’s pretty rundown and is also not code-compliant in many cases,” said Adolfo Fastlicht of Boffo about the old Jonathan’s building. He added the Jonathan’s space will be converted into a premium theater “with soft colors, light grays and beiges.”

“We’re proposing to cover the existing wall with a vine covering that hopefully will eventually cover 100 percent of the building,” he added.

Fastlicht said there will be a second-level addition in the building. He noted existing onsite surface and underground parking will be more than sufficient, providing a total of 110 parking spaces.

Fastlicht said the goal is to have the new theater complex, which will have seven screens and 363 seats, operational by the first quarter of 2015.

Boffo has also applied for a full liquor license.

“We bought the license from Zenbu across the street,” said Fastlicht. One operating condition, he added, is that the establishment is required to be primarily a restaurant, not a bar.

“I think it’s a great project and will be a wonderful addition to the Village,” said PDO committee member Deborah Marengo, who moved approval of the project’s design. The design was endorsed by a 6-0 group vote.

La Jolla restaurateur George Hauer and architect Mark Steele detailed a proposal to expand the existing George’s Ocean View Terrace, at 1250 Prospect St., onto an adjacent existing roof. The proposal includes expanding the existing bar area, with additional bar and seating in an improved waiting area.

“It’s like a Japanese subway — people can’t move,” Hauer joked about his existing rooftop configuration. Hauer noted he’s revamping the space not to expand it but to make it more comfortable and serviceable for customers.

The restaurateur added he had to undergo a historical review because the building dates back to 1962.

From the audience, longtime La Jollan Gail Forbes noted that equipment on the rooftop to which Hauer is expanding his restaurant can be seen and said it should be screened off from view as a condition of project approval.

PDO chair Ione Stiegler pointed out the rules require Hauer to have a “shared use” agreement to provide sufficient parking for his expansion. George’s employs valet service but does not presently have a shared-use parking agreement.

Given a suggestion that Hauer’s project ought to qualify to be “grandfathered in,” Stiegler asked, “What about all his other nonconforming uses in the building?,” to which Hauer quipped, “What’s one more?”

“We need to look at a fair and equitable application of the laws with George’s, and he needs a shared-parking agreement,” Stiegler said.

After debate, the PDO voted 6-0 in favor of George’s proposal pending the restaurant’s acquisition of a shared-parking agreement.

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